The 2021 MINI Convertible returns with few changes. Purists will be glad that the manual transmission is back after a one-year hiatus, and everyone will be glad that prices come down slightly. Otherwise, the only changes are minor feature tweaks and a new Sidewalk special edition.
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2021 MINI Convertible Overview
Choosing Your MINI Convertible
The MINI Convertible comes in the usual three trims: Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works. Those trims are delineated by the engine, but within each one are three feature levels: Classic, Signature, and Iconic.
Prices start at $28,250 including destination for the base Cooper and extend up to $39,250 for the John Cooper Works (JCW).
The Convertible’s three trims each get their own engine. The Cooper starts with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, while the Cooper S upgrades to a 2.0-liter turbo-four. The JCW gets a more powerful version of the larger engine.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|1.5L Turbo 3-Cylinder||134 hp||162 lb-ft||31 mpg|
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder||189 hp||206 lb-ft||29 mpg|
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder||228 hp||236 lb-ft||28 mpg|
For 2021, a six-speed manual transmission rejoins the lineup, and it’s responsible for a $1,000 price drop in the lower two trims. An eight-speed automatic is standard on the John Cooper Works, and a seven-speed version is a $1,250 option on the Cooper and Cooper S. All Convertibles are front-wheel drive.
Cooper S and John Cooper Works models enjoy a substantial power boost over the base Cooper, and the Cooper S can do the 0-60 mph sprint in 6.4 seconds.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The MINI Convertible will seat four people, but don’t expect them all to be comfortable. Second-row passengers must make do with 30.9 inches of leg room, which is small even compared to pint-sized competitors like the Fiat 500 or Honda Fit.
Cargo capacity is even worse. The Convertible has to leave space for the folding soft top, leaving only 5.7 cubic feet in the trunk. But hey, what did you expect? It’s right there in the brand name.
As part of the BMW family, MINI benefits from strong safety technology. Every model comes with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and rear parking sensors.
The Signature and Iconic equipment groups open up the availability of the Driver Assistance Package ($1,000). This adds adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, and an automated parking system.
The base Cooper Classic starts with a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, and the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay (sorry, Android users). To get a larger 8.8-inch screen, you’ll need to upgrade all the way to the Iconic feature group.
The Signature is available with the larger touchscreen through the $1,000 Touchscreen Navigation Package, which also includes navigation, voice activation, and a digital instrument cluster.
The Cooper Convertible starts with the basics: the three-cylinder engine, a manual transmission, and the 6.5-inch infotainment system. All the aesthetic charm of a MINI is still there, with 15-inch alloy wheels and Union Jack taillights.
Bumping up to the Signature level costs $4,000 on the Cooper, but it makes the automatic standard (the manual remains a no-cost option). Also included with Signature models are 16-inch wheels, LED lights, heated seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
For the full luxury experience, the Iconic level includes leather upholstery, a larger infotainment screen, 17-inch wheels, power-folding side mirrors, chrome exterior accents, and a Harman Kardon audio system. Adding it costs $8,000.
The Cooper S puts its $4,000 price bump to work under the hood, where the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine adds some extra oomph. Otherwise, the S trim looks just like the Cooper.
Signature and Iconic levels are both available, but they get price increases as well. Jumping to Signature is $4,500, while the Iconic features are $9,000.
The Cooper S is also available in a limited Sidewalk Edition for 2021. It’s partly about aesthetics, with a deep teal exterior and 17-inch wheels, and distinctive hood stripes. Inside, however, the Sidewalk gets the larger infotainment system, leather upholstery, and navigation. It costs an extra $7,000 over the Cooper S Classic.
The John Cooper Works Convertible is all about performance, with 228 horsepower and a standard eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Features are similar to the lower trims, but even the JCW Classic gets 17-inch wheels, sport seats, and LED lights.
As a result, upgrading to the Signature level costs only $1,500, and Iconic – which gets 18-inch wheels on the JCW – only $6,500.
As fun as the John Cooper Works is, it’s expensive for such a small car. Every 2021 MINI Convertible is fun to drive, so we’d stick with the Cooper or Cooper S for the best value.